Real Best Of Detroit 2010
Best-Dressed News Anchor/Reporter: Rhonda Walker
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Aside from being a charismatic, energetic and passionate morning news anchor for WDIV Local 4, Miss Walker always looks fabulous both in person and in HD — despite the fact that her day begins at 2 a.m. She's also fabulous at heart — as evidenced by her philanthropic efforts through her non-profit, the Rhonda Walker Foundation, brought forth by Walker’s “desire to personally impact the future outcomes of inner-city teen girls.”
Whether she's working to empower young women toward becoming strong and successful leaders, or staying fresh with her chic hairstyle and designer shoes, Walker sums up the phrase “style with substance.” Walker shared a few of her favorite designers with us — Kay Unger, Nanette LePore, Teri Jon, Tadashi, Madalay and Yves Saint Laurent — and lists Neiman Marcus at Somerset Collection as one of her favorite metro-Detroit places to shop. “The sales staff takes great care of me," she says. "They have a wonderful selection of great designers and timeless pieces."
Best Local News: WDIV — Local 4
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The only local news broadcast based in downtown Detroit, WDIV Local 4 is known for breaking news stories first and reporting on the stories that really matter to viewers. The “local” in the name is more than a gimmick — it reflects the station’s commitment to providing viewers with regional news that affects them directly, as well as a local perspective on national and international news. The list of WDIV’s trusted names is long, including Carmen Harlan, Guy Gordon, Devin Scillian, Bernie Smilovitz, Chuck Gaidica and many others. It’s a dependable, familiar news team which has earned its audience through integrity and dedication to the city and its viewers.
Best Michigan-Based Magazine: HOUR
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HOUR Detroit is a big, beautiful, glossy, sophisticated monthly magazine devoted to the people, places and happenings of metro-Detroit. Every issue is filled with great photographs and features on Detroit’s past, present and future, plus information on upcoming events, dining, shopping and entertainment in and around the city. In other words, if you weren’t already holding a Real Detroit Weekly right now, HOUR would probably do a decent enough job of helping you figure out something to do this weekend.
Best Local Blog: PositiveDetroit.net
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Bad news is the most common and most prominent type of news for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is often urgent. For example, it's more logical for someone to shout, “Fire!” when a fire breaks out, than it is to shout, “I’m having a good day!” while the latter is taking place. Nevertheless, we in Detroit are uniquely inundated with bad news, but just because there is much bad news doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no good news — it’s just harder to hear over all of the people shouting “Fire!” At positivedetroit.net, the only thing you will ever find is positive news about Detroit. It’s a refreshing concept, brought forth by Ferndale's Erin Rose, that pits the hope and activism of positivity against the defeatism and inaction of negativity.
Best Radio Station: 89X
In 1991, 95.5 featured a soft rock format and the Dick Purtan morning show, 96.3 was pushing mainstream hip-hop like M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice and WRIF was playing the hair metal of Poison and Warrant. That summer, just across the Detroit River, Windsor’s 88.7 CIMX started playing bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and Detroit radio would never be the same. While some other stations have endured numerous format changes, 89X has stuck steadfastly to its modern rock format for nearly 20 years. Competitors have come and gone, but 89X continues to fly the alternative rock flag, and fly it high. Adapting with the times, it still stays fundamentally true to the genre that it pioneered almost two decades ago.
Best Radio Morning Show: Drew & Mike
Quite possibly the most immature, irreverent middle-aged guys in Detroit radio, Drew Lane and Mike Clark helm Detroit’s perennially top-rated morning show, aptly-titled Drew & Mike, on WRIF 101.1. Reunited last summer after Drew’s hiatus of nearly two years, the pair quickly returned to form, going back to their routine of making ridiculous prank calls, discussing bizarre news stories and amusing themselves and audiences with crude toilet humor and innuendo befitting of a couple of adolescent boys. In other words, they’re Detroit radio’s grown-up equivalent to Beavis and Butt-Head, and we’re very happy to have them back.
Best Radio Sports Talk Show: Valenti & Foster 97.1
Boombaye! Whether or not you agree with their opinions on Detroit sports or their occasional, often unfortunate, forays into local politics, Valenti & Foster never fails to entertain, thanks to the chemistry between its co-hosts, Mike Valenti and Terry Foster. Valenti — a fiery New Yorker and Michigan State grad — brings blunt intensity and raw emotion to the broadcast, while Foster — a veteran Detroit News columnist, Detroit native and Central Michigan alum — adds a less abrasive, more experienced perspective to the show. The rapport between the hosts, as well as their playful interaction with callers, makes the show as amusing as it is informative.
Best Reality TV Show: Jersey Shore
Immediately prompting controversy over its depiction of Italian-American 20-somethings, er ... “guidos” and “guidettes,” MTV’s Jersey Shore has been inescapable since its debut last year. Regardless of whether you actually watch the show, you’ve surely heard about the drunken exploits of its infamous cast, including the self-adoring Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and the belligerent, diminutive Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. Most of the original cast is on board for a second season of the show, planned to take place in a new location and air this summer. In the meantime, you might as well hit the tanning bed, do some crunches and tip back a few glasses of Ron Ron Juice. Knock it if you must, but this show's gained so much popularity since it began airing we're not sure whether to laugh or cry. Based on the votes, we're assuming you did a nice mixture of the two.
Best Radio DJ: Jay Hudson
He’s the one in charge of bringing the best new rock alternative to us and our friends over in Windsor, but what we love about Jay is that he cares about us. That’s why he gives us the People’s Choice and the Top 9 at 9 every weeknight. His tweets also clue us in to what new hits he’s going to be dropping and when he'll be dropping them — another sign that he’s on our side and wants to keep us in the know. So here’s to Jay Hud. We love you, man.
Best Local Anchorperson: Carmen Harlan
Born and raised in Detroit and a University of Michigan graduate, it is only appropriate that Carmen Harlan would call the channel known as Local 4 her home. After all, she is a homegrown talent, and has been a local television staple for over 30 years. Even more astonishingly, she has been at WDIV her entire career. Harlan has become synonymous with major Detroit events — so much so that it’s difficult to imagine a Thanksgiving Parade or Auto Show without her being there. Passionate, but composed, and a very tough interviewer at times, Carmen Harlan is a true Detroit original. There's something so very welcoming and genuine about Harlan that makes Detroiters feel all warm, fuzzy and safe. Thank you, Carmen, for being such a humble Motor City media icon.
Best Sportscaster: Dan Miller
While we all wish he could shout, “Touchdown, Detroit Lions!” more often as the team’s radio voice, you can’t blame him — after all, it’s up to the team to get into the end zone. In his primary gig, Dan Miller provides an energetic take on Detroit sports for WJBK Fox 2 News. Despite being a Washington, D.C., native, Miller captures the enthusiasm of a lifelong Detroiter in his broadcasts, appreciating and actively participating in the passion of one of the greatest sports towns in America.
Best Sports Writer: Terry Foster
Detroit-born columnist Terry Foster, a Cass Tech and Central Michigan graduate, shares his opinions on the world of sports in the Detroit News. Formerly a beat writer during the Pistons’ “Bad Boys” era, Foster writes about Detroit sports issues and national or global sports topics, viewed from a local perspective. His years of experience as a beat writer and sound, rational opinions make him a trusted authority on the Detroit sports scene. Foster is also half of the Detroit sport talk duo Valenti & Foster weekday afternoons on 97.1 The Ticket.
Best Local News Website: Detnews.com
When it comes to online news, detnews.com is the superior source, for a few key reasons. First, the Detroit News site seems to pounce on breaking news just a tad faster. The Free Press is reliable for providing in-depth analysis, but when it comes to hard news, posted as soon as it happens, the News is tops. Second, the clean, functional layout of the site puts the latest stories right at your fingertips, as well as indexes of the most popular stories, sorted by criteria. Isn’t it great that we’re still a two-newspaper town, so we can actually have this debate?
Best Media Personality: Huel Perkins
Huel Perkins separates himself from his contemporaries by his apparent utilization of an on-air persona as opposed to the casual approach adopted by most of today’s news anchors. He doesn’t come off like a friendly guy that you would sit down with for a cup of coffee. Perkins instead possesses an old-school style of cool intensity that you don’t see much anymore. He purposefully delivers the news to you; he reads the teleprompter with consequence. That sort of paradoxical calm urgency makes a Huel Perkins newscast unlike any other. No other moment could illustrate this better than his hilariously deadpan reading of explicit text messages between Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty. “Hell, yeah!” = classic Huel.
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